History of St. Michael's School
St. Michael’s School was founded by Reverend Michael Coughlan in 1964. It comprised grades one through six and was staffed by the Sisters of St. Clare. In 1971, the Sisters of Mercy agreed to staff the school. Under the leadership of Sister Celestine Callaghan, kindergarten, seventh, and eighth grades were added. Our second pastor, Monsignor Joseph Finnerty, joined St. Michael’s Parish in 1984, and in 1992, Mr. Jim Gase was appointed principal. Because of a growing student waiting list, the decision was made to expand the school by adding a second class to each grade. In 1997, a second kindergarten was added, and a new class was added each subsequent year through 2005, when all grades, kindergarten through eight, had double classes. Grades four through eight moved into a newly built facility in the spring of 2003. The new building, South Campus, houses two computer labs, a science lecture room with adjoining lab, an art room, and a library/resource room, as well as ten classrooms and a full-size sports field.
In 2006, Mrs. Kathleen Mock was appointed Principal. St. Michael’s School launched a three and four year-old preschool program in the fall of 2008, and added numerous enrichment and after-school activities to enhance student learning. Monsignor Neal Dolan joined St. Michael’s Parish in July, 2001. His vision to build an additional facility, The Holy Family Center, was realized in March, 2011. The Holy Family Center houses an auditorium, stage, and meeting rooms and is used by both the parish and the school for concerts, theatrical productions, retreats, conferences, adult education, and social gatherings.
Just over 53 years after opening, St. Michael’s School remains grounded in its devotion to faith and commitment to service, which so aptly reflects the charism of the religious orders that provided its foundation. New signage was purchased in 2011 for each of the 19 homerooms and two offices depicting the 21 Franciscan Missions, the beginnings of our Catholic faith in California. These markers serve as daily reminders of the Sisters of St. Clare and their affiliation with St. Francis. Our service group, Mercy Corps, in honor of the Sisters of Mercy, leads the school in service projects throughout the year.
Our Pastor, Father Mel Monreal, and our Associate Pastor, Father David Exner, joined the parish in 2016, replacing Father John Dolan, who is now Auxiliary Bishop for the Diocese of San Diego, and Father Lauro Minimo, who is now Director of Priestly Vocations. St. Michael's School currently serves a student body of 545 in Preschool through Grade 8.